Ewch i'r fersiwn Gymraeg

Since 2005, Hope Rescue has been working to help dogs and owners in crisis. Sadly, with the rising cost of living crisis and the legacy of the Covid pandemic, our rescue centre is not able to meet the needs of every dog and owner who needs our help. 

To meet this challenge, we are launching Hope in the Community - a new programme, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, to engage and support owners who are struggling in our local communities.

Through community support and outreach we hope to help more dogs and owners to stay together when mutually beneficial. The programme will also promote responsible dog ownership and work with local partners to help tackle the root problems that lead to poor welfare and harm, for both dogs and people. 

We know from evidence and experience that pet ownership can be hugely beneficial to human health and wellbeing. 

We believe that empowering people to be responsible dog owners can have benefits across our communities. Hope Rescue wants to be there for dog owners who are struggling, helping prevent heart-breaking situations where owners feel forced to give up their dog due to issues such as mental health, disability, homelessness or financial difficulties.

We also know that the best way to ensure the welfare and care of the most vulnerable dogs in our communities is by supporting their owners to provide them with the safe, loving home that they deserve. 

Hope in the Community

Delivered by our qualified Hope Rescue team, our Hope in the Community programme will include:

Community outreach days in areas, or for groups, experiencing multiple disadvantages or where evidence suggests there are ‘hotspots’ for dog ownership issues. 

Drop-in events to deliver advice and support in community settings, to help dogs and owners stay together and promote responsible ownership which benefits dogs, individuals and communities. This will include a basic dog welfare check, welfare, behaviour and training advice, microchipping and equipment, guidance on acquiring a dog and signposting to other support. We aim to co-deliver these outreach days with support from veterinary, statutory and community partners to help ensure that the needs of community members are addressed holistically. 

One-to-one support for dog owners who are struggling with their pet’s welfare and their own wellbeing. 

Based on referrals from partner organisations, our Community Support Officer will be able to assess the needs of specific dogs and owners, working with them to implement basic welfare and behaviour interventions to help them stay together.  We aim to work with other service providers, to ensure that support is connected and focused on the needs and strengths of the individual. 

Supporting professionals and members of community organisations to respond to the needs of dog owners and develop good practice on dog related issues affecting communities. 

Through consultation with local partners, we discovered that many professionals working to support vulnerable community may be unaware of the way that dog ownership impacts their service users or are unclear how best to support them. We found that dog ownership can also be a significant barrier to vulnerable people getting the support they need. Through this project, we hope to engage with professionals from across different sectors to provide learning, support improved practice and drive sustainable local ‘systems change’.

If we are going to make a real difference to the lives of the most vulnerable dogs, owners and communities, we know we will need to work in partnership with other organisations and groups already at work in our local areas.

You can support our work by: 

·       Offering or suggesting a venue where we can run our community outreach days. 

·       Supporting us to co-deliver community outreach days.

·       Becoming a referral partner for our 1:1 support

·       Sharing your experiences and views about what your community members really need.

·       Contacting us to explore how we can support your staff or organisations to better meet the needs of dog owners or to promote dog safety and responsible ownership. 

·       Promoting our community support and events with your service users and networks

Please feel free to contact us for more information or to discuss further how we can support your community and organisation.

Contact our community team

Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund